For owners and admirers of all boats built by Cornish Crabbers
Cornish Crabber Club - Solent Rally 2018 June 1st - 9th
Preparation for the 6th annual Solent Crabber Rally began in the autumn of 2017. Tidal and route planning are essential for a good Rally. I used to wait until the new Reed's came out before starting tidal planning, but having come across an American website which seems to provide tidal forecasting way into the future I can now plan earlier.
I wanted to create an event for 2018, which would combine some comfortable layovers, as well as good sailing opportunities. I don't think this was best achieved in previous years. The answer was found this year as the Solent was used to its fullest extent by planning a route that took the fleet up and down and across and back across our "playground ". The route was Lymington, Hamble, Bembridge, Cowes, Beaulieu, and Gosport before dispersing to Home Ports. 2018 was a record year for entries with some 26 boats signing up to take part. The fleet varied in size from Cornish Shrimper 19s up to Crabber 26s. My efforts to encourage any Pilot Cutters failed. Perhaps we'll have more luck in 2019.
The Event itself...officially ran from Friday June 1st to Saturday June 9th with 26 boats entered. In fact I led a small advance party from Chichester to Lymington the day before the rally started. To be honest I wanted to be sure I was there to welcome the first and subsequent boats. Summer Breeze, Maudie IV , and Moore's Claws set off on 31st May in the rain. Surely not another wet rally, that would have been awful! We timed the tides well and had a spirited sail to Lymington with the persistent easterly breeze that had prevailed, and continued for most of the week. Varying speeds off Cowes were logged, 8.5- 9.5 knots,as we caught the Westerly ebb in full flow. A late afternoon arrival on the Dan Bran Pontoon found us safely berthed and ready for the arrivals the following day.
Boats arrived throughout Friday from East and West until all had been checked in, bar one. Where was Seawind? Andrew and Caroline Turner's Crabber Mk2 was nowhere to be seen, and coming from Poole would have been expected to have arrived earlier in the day. By late afternoon she had not arrived. Phone calls, radio calls were put out....nothing, no response. I was beginning to get a bit concerned. Were there problems? Where was she? My concerns were eventually put to rest when someone announced that Seawind had now arrived. It was now early evening. Where had she been? Answer...simple...she had been comfortably berthed in the Haven Marina adjacent to the Dan Bran since Monday! If only I had known.
With all Present and correct we had an excellent first supper at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club who catered for us well.